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Saint-Tropez and the Traditions

The Bravades - Authentic military parades

 

Daughter of freedom, insolent as well as rebellious, Saint-Tropez is an incredible paradox of modernity and inherited solemn traditions. This centuries-old rendez-vous with history is by no means a folklore festival like those which brighten up the summer of southern villages.

Despite the fifes and farandoles, this is an authentic military parade.

 

The city is adorned in red and white and its inhabitants parade in period weapons and uniforms: musketeers and sailors joined by Pisan gentlemen and guardian in honor of Saint Tropez who landed on the shore of the Pilon district, in the year 68.

 

For five centuries, these bravados have therefore celebrated the bravery of the Tropezians who, behind their city captain, have been able to defend their lives and their property against the dangers from the sea.

 

Le Cepoun - The guarantor of the memory

 

“To be Cepoun, you need seriousness, respect and love for our traditions.”

The Bravado represents the most symbolic manifestation of the attachment of the Tropezians to their military past and their devotion to their Saint Patron.

 

It was in 1470 that Saint-Tropez officially became a "land of privileges", exempt from taxes and having the right to raise its own army to defend itself, under the direction of a city captain appointed by the consuls; these privileges will be abolished in 1672 by King Louis XIV.

 

In memory of this glorious time and to honor the memory of their ancestors who defended the city, every year on Easter Monday, on the proposal of Cepoun, the maintainer of traditions in Provençal, a City Captain is elected by the Municipal Council . He has been the Chef of the Bravades of the Year which have taken place on May 16, 17 and 18 for 451 years.

 

The rite of Bravado, its unfolding, has remained largely unchanged, since its creation. It currently constitutes a consensual event bringing together the popular fervor of Tropezians and their relatives, sometimes from all over the world to celebrate Torpes, the saint patron of the village.

 

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